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Rupert Wyman 30th Nov 2010 - 19:21

The Ashes - Guide to the Adelaide Oval

England return to the Adelaide Oval this Thursday evening for the second test but it's a ground that doesn't hold happy memories from their last tour Down Under.

The Three Lions suffered a demoralising defeat here back in 2006. After scoring a massive 551/6, including a Paul Collingwood double-century, England declared and it looked like there could be only one winner. They maintained a lead after bowling Australia out for 513 but a second innings collapse (69/1 to 129 all out) let the Australians back in and they won that match by six wickets.

They have got some experience of the ground on this tour already, they played a three day game against South Australia which ended in a draw, although there was encouragment for Graeme Swann who took four wickets.

Australia haven't lost at The Oval since India beat them in 2003, winning four and drawing two of the six games since.

England last won in Adelaide back in 1995 with Chris Lewis taking 4/24 in a 2nd innings were Australia were bowled out for 156, chasing a target of 263.

Generally Adelaide is good for batting in the first few three days before taking spin and some uneven bounce in the later stages.  There have been eight scores of 500 or more since 2000, the biggest Australia's 575/8 declared against New Zealand back in 2004.

Groundsman Damien Hough makes his test debut after the retirement of the long standing Les Burdett. Hough is likely to follow in his predecessors footsteps by preparing a 'tradional Adelaide pitch'.

"A traditional Adelaide Oval pitch would suggest as the game wears on and we are getting into day four and five, that there will be something in it for the spinners definitely," Hough said on Tuesday.

"And we are getting some hotter weather towards the end of the game, so you would expect there to be some unpredictable bounce, that is for sure."

There is likely to be rain in the next couple of days which could turn the pitch a little green which help the seamers.

There was a total attendance of 136,761 over the five days when these two last met at Adelaide and it's likely to be a great atmosphere this time with the Barmy Army expected to be out in force.

The Oval is located in parklands between the city centre and North Adelaide and has a history which dates back to the 1870s. The ground is a true oval, which makes straight sixes difficult but they are quite common square of the wicket. The grandstands and the scoreboard are all items listed on the City of Adelaide Heritage Register, and two new stands finished in 2003 have raised the capacity to 32,000 for cricket.

It's all setup for a great match, can England banish the memories of 2006 and take a 1-0 series lead?

The Adelaide Oval

Established: 1873

Playing area 190.2m long, 126.2m wide
City End, Cathedral End
South Australia
Damien Hough

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